Forgiveness, remaking yourself, and the casual encounters that define our days (5×8 – 1/2/14)


Karl Pierson walked into a high school in Arapahoe, Colo., last month and shot Claire Davis. She died eight days later. She was a random victim.

Her father said at a memorial service yesterday that he was blinded with anger after the shooting.

Then he said this
: “My wife and I forgive Karl Pierson for what he did. We would ask all of you here and all of you watching to forgive Karl Pierson. He didn’t know what he was doing.”

Related: Minneapolis man recalls Ukrainian SS brutality (KARE).


Baseball blogger Aaron Gleeman has spent a fair share of his adult life dispelling the long-held beliefs about baseball. He’s part of the second generation of baseball analysts that knows how to analyze numbers to create a better impression of a player’s worth.

Now, he’s taking on another long-held belief: The blogger as loner, the blogger as slug, the blogger as unable/unwilling to be social, holed up in the bedroom, blogging. Not that any of that is a myth, mind you.

It’s a touching essay on his birthday today …

Female or male, it’s about wanting someone in your life and about presenting yourself in such a way that they might want you in their life too. As simple as that sounds now, it wasn’t always so apparent to me. Get your **** together, put yourself out there, and let people know that you think they’re cute or funny or interesting or smart or whatever it is that makes you want to spend more time with them. That’s the lesson I learned between 29 and 31, through trial and error.

I’m still new to this whole being social thing and make plenty of rookie mistakes, but I’ve come to appreciate those experiences as well and they’ve helped me understand more clearly what I want for my life. I like people and shockingly some people even like me, which is the sort of epiphany that made me regret wasting so many years being a hermit just because it was more comfortable or easier or less likely to evoke emotions. I’m playing catch-up now, but at least I’m playing.


We just finished a holiday season in which we reconnected with family and close friends, Julie Wittes Schlack writes on WBUR’s Cognoscenti blog, but what our days are more defined by the people we meet and don’t think much about, she says:

For a time a black man in a white shirt buttoned all the way up to his neck played tenor saxophone in the Porter Square subway station during the morning rush hour. His tone wasn’t great, nor was his speed, but he played with an endearing seriousness and lyricism.

For the first few weeks he was there, I’d simply drop a dollar in his sax case, murmur my thanks, and then keep walking to my preferred spot at the far end of the platform. But he recognized me as a jazz fan, and was even more eager to discuss music when he learned that I was an aspiring sax player.

He would lower his horn when he saw me coming, and we’d talk, agreeing that Victor Young wrote beautiful, timeless tunes; racking our brains for the name of the guy who composed “The Autumn Leaves,” debating the merits of John Coltrane versus Sonny Rollins. Sometimes I’d press him for trade secrets. Were particular T stops or times of day more lucrative than others? Did certain songs more reliably fill his case with change? But this soft-spoken man was careful and vague in his answers, unwilling to complain or judge.

I haven’t seen him lately; he told me he might get an early gig at Park Street station. The lean man who has replaced him for the morning commute has a shock of hair that drops over his eyes, and he plays guitar like José Feliciano, weaving intricate and fiery runs out of Beatles songs. He’s a joy to listen to, but he rarely looks up and is not a talker.

Question: Who defines your day?


Generally speaking, crooks are stupid; that’s why they get caught and why the prisons are full. One exception, aside from big financiers, is the people who steal credit card data. They don’t often get caught.

BusinessWeek has the latest threat:

Here’s how the theft goes down. First, someone climbs onto the roof of a store and uses aluminum foil to block the satellite antenna that the store uses to receive data from credit card companies to authorize sales—a gadget called a feed horn that looks like this.

With the signal blocked, stores can’t validate credit and debit card transactions. That opens the door, so to speak, for bandits to enter the store, load up their carts with electronics or cigarettes, and pay with stolen credit cards. Retailers often permit sales even if the link with the credit card company is down, figuring the transactions will go through once the connection is back up.

There’s always cash.

Related:A Snapchat security breach affects 4.6 million users. Did Snapchat drag its feet on a fix? (Washington Post)


2014, when you can’t even trust people not to break into your fish house anymore.

Bonus I: A Husband Took These Photos Of His Wife And Captured Love And Loss Beautifully (Upworthy).

Bonus II: Snow boosts income for some Northland businesses (Duluth News Tribune). Good question: Why do media people always treat winter like the bad uncle when a significant part of the state’s economy depends on it?

Bonus III: Why I chose the open market over MNSure (Minnesota Prairie Roots).


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Russia’s war against separatists, and what the Olympic games mean for Russia’s image.

Second hour: NPR political reporter Ari Shapiro in conversation with Tom Weber about what it’s like to work the White House beat. Recorded at the University of St. Thomas on Monday, November 4.

Third hour: Pet related Q&A.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm) – The latest debate from the Intelligence Squared Series: Should you eat anything with a face?

The Takeaway (1-2 p.m.) – What’s ahead for Russia?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – MPR News reporter Elizabeth Stawicki will check in on how things have gone on the first two days of MNsure.

in Los Angeles, an estimated 54,000 people live on the streets. Now many are eligible for health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. But enrolling the homeless population can be a challenge. NPR reports on the effort to signing the homeless up for health care.